The EU’s top diplomat said Brussels had no more ammunition and must rely on domestic production
The armies of EU member states have already supplied Ukraine with all the ammunition they can find in existing stockpiles, so the bloc must now wait to produce more, EU foreign policy chief Josep Borrell said on Tuesday.
The top diplomat made the comments ahead of a Foreign Affairs Council meeting, when he was pressed about the EU’s pledge to supply Kiev with 1 million artillery shells by March 2024.
“I have no ammunition here in Brussels. I have no stock of ammunition. I must mobilize the stock of the European armies.” He said.
“The first path – supplying what the armies already had in their stocks – has already been completed.” Borrell said, noting that the Union has already supplied Ukraine with more than 300,000 shells. “And now, from the armies’ stock, it’s hard to get more.”
The figure presented appears to confirm previous reports published by Bloomberg that the European Union has supplied Kiev with only 30% of the promised missiles.
According to Borrell, the flow of ammunition now depends on the manufacturing capabilities of the bloc’s arms producers.
“Keep in mind that the European defense industry exports a lot. About 40% of production is exported to third countries, and this is not a lack of production capacities. he told reporters.
Recently, Ukrainian officials renewed their requests for additional weapons and other lethal aid, after a long-awaited counteroffensive in Kiev failed to achieve significant territorial gains. Speaking to The Economist earlier this month, Valery Zalozhny, Ukraine’s supreme leader, described the state of conflict with Russia as “Impasse”.
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